Before European colonialism, inhabitants of Guyana were Amerindians scattered across the “land of many waters” (Glasgow 1970:6; Rabe 2005:5). During the era of imperialism (1499-Guyanese Independence May 1966), the Dutch and British utilized indigenous and African slave labor as well as indentured servants from Asia to harvest cash crops (Glasgow 1970:131; Whitehead 2010:53). The British brought indentured servants across the kala pani, or dark water, from India to Guyana under the pretense of a better life. Under the harsh restrictions of colonial life, the Indian indentured laborers, negatively referred to as coolies, were culturally suppressed. Virtually, all aspects of daily life and institutions were altered, including such apparently natural areas of social life as gender. This thesis examines the possible existence of hijra in early 21st century Indo-Guyanese society as a third gender identity from India, that survived the transatlantic separation from India, colonial oppression and postcolonial suppression (Bockrath 2003:83; Nanda 1998; Reddy 2003: 163-189; Reddy 2005a:256-266).
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
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Honors in the Major Thesis
Ali, Shainna, "Contemporary Hijra Identity in Guyana: Colonial and Postcolonial Transformations in Hijra Gender Identity" (2010). HIM 1990-2015. 959.